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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Latin renegō, from negō (I deny). Possibly influenced by renegotiate. See also renegade.



renege (third-person singular simple present reneges, present participle reneging, simple past and past participle reneged)

  1. (intransitive) To break a promise or commitment; to go back on one's word.
    • 2011 February 5, Michael Kevin Darling, “Tottenham 2 - 1 Bolton”, in BBC[1]:
      Just before half-time, Clattenburg awarded Spurs a penalty for the third time after a handball in the area but he reneged after realising that the linesman had flagged Crouch offside in the build-up.
  2. (intransitive) In a card game, to break one's commitment to follow suit when capable.
  3. (transitive, archaic) To deny; to renounce
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
    • Sylvester
      All Europe high (all sorts of rights reneged) / Against the truth and thee unholy leagued.